2013 Range Rover Sport, Supercharger Repairs
Mark: Hi. It's Mark Bossert, producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast and we're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, the big bopper right here in Vancouver, talking about cars. How you doing, Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well.
Mark: So, we're talking about a 2013 Range Rover Sport that had a supercharger problem. What was happening with this Range Rover?
Bernie: Well, the same issue we've done a podcast on this recently. Same issue. The supercharger nose cone coupler was worn, causing quite a clacking sound when the engine was running, and it needed to be replaced. Pretty common issue on this vehicle.
Mark: So, what part actually needed replacement?
Bernie: Well, the actual part that wears out, I'll share some photos in a second, is there's an actual coupler between ... the way a supercharger works, it's basically got blades for better term that rotate and compress the air that goes into the engine. But that's driven from a belt off the engine, and in between that, they put a coupler that has some flexibility. Not certain why they do that. I'd say it's probably noise reduction, smooths things out, but the coupler wears out. So, that's what causes the noise, and let's just get into some pictures right here. On this video, you can see that there's quite an enormous amount of play and I'll just get into a few photographs here and we'll have a look at the actual part. So, there is, this is a picture, actually, of the new part, and you can see this is the actual coupler unit here. You can see this okay, Mark?
Bernie: So, there's three pins here, and these connect into the actual supercharger. This is the nose cone assembly piece here, so this is actually driven from the belt, and there's three pins here, although one's hidden behind his white plastic plate. But there's some springs and cushioning mechanisms in here that allow some play, but not a lot. So, this is what a good part looks like. Now, if we get into the worn piece, this is what the coupler removed, you see a lot of rusty bits here from the springs that have basically worn out and rusted away. There's the coupler. Again, this is the worn one. You can see there's bits and pieces missing in this area. There's springs and pieces that are in here that basically have disintegrated and gone, and there's the coupler worn out sitting on the nose cone. So, you can see, again, the same pieces as in a nice clean white piece, but when this is rotated, there's an incredible amount of play between these two areas which is not there on the new part. So, again, there's the new piece. So, there we have it.
Mark: So, does the supercharger need to be removed to replace the part?
Bernie: It does need to be removed. Not entirely out of the engine, but it needs to be unbolted from the engine and lifted up in such a way that we can actually access all the bolts to take the nose cone off. So, it would be nice if they built it in such a way you could take the nose cone off without unbolting the supercharger, but unfortunately they don't make it that easy.
Mark: What other parts do you replace at the same time?
Bernie: Really, at the same time, there's just gaskets. Whatever we remove, there's intake manifold gaskets, there's the actual intercooler which bolts up top the supercharger, and there's a big huge gasket in that area. That needs to be replaced as well. That's pretty much it. Cooling system needs to be drained, so that needs to be properly refilled and some antifreeze added, but that's pretty much it. The nose cone assembly and the gaskets.
Mark: So, how did it sound after the repair? You said there was a clicking sound?
Bernie: Oh much better. It was so noisy when it was running and idle and revved up before, and much quieter afterwards, although I do have to say the engine itself is still, it's a little bit of a noisy engine in this vehicle, but substantially quieter, enormously quieter. Much better.
Mark: How many kilometres were on this vehicle?
Bernie: Not a lot, really. Surprisingly under 100,000. These things do tend to wear out pretty quickly and pretty early on these vehicles.
Mark: Is that a normal supercharger attachment on other supercharged engines that you've seen?
Bernie: Well, this is the only vehicle, this and Jaguar uses the same engine, so this problem happens in Jaguars and Land Rovers, but this is the only vehicle we ever replace this particular part on. Others don't seem to wear out that way.
Mark: Does your Mercedes, for instance, have that?
Bernie: No, it doesn't. It doesn't have that system. Yeah. At least if it does, it's much more durable because that thing's got 170,000 k’s and it's still quiet.
Mark: So, like you said, it's an exclusive sounding problem to Range Rovers/Jaguars.
Bernie: Yeah, and it's only this particular engine. We have clients with supercharged Jaguars that are older vintage that never have this problem. So, it's something they, I don't know the exact model year spread, certainly from 2010 and up, Range Rovers we've done them, so I think it's sort of around that generation.
Mark: Again, let's, superchargers. What does a supercharger actually do? You'd think that something that's being turned by the engine would actually take a lot of power, and yet it actually generates power? How does that work?
Bernie: Well, you say what does it do, well, it actually gives you a lot of power. What it does, now, you're right. It does actually take power from the engine, is it actually compresses the air going into the cylinder. So, on a normal engine which is called a naturally aspirated engine, as the pistons move, they suck air in as much as the throttle opening will allow. This is on a gasoline engine. It'll suck air in under atmospheric pressure, compress it, the piston comes up and mix it with the gas, it explodes, and there's your power. But with the supercharger, it actually fills the cylinder with extra air, substantial amount of extra air, more oxygen, and then you can inject more fuel so it just creates a whole lot more power. So, it's amazing. I love superchargers because the power is instant and immediate. The turbo chargers have a lag. With engineering in modern engines, you can barely feel the lag, but when you drive a supercharged engine, you can feel it. The power's just so instantaneously there. They've been used in drag racing for an awful long time. If you want just more power in an engine, put a supercharger on. Of course, the engine has to be built for it, too, because you could blow it up pretty easily with all that extra, but of course, most supercharged cars don't get great gas mileage because you've got so much power, but when you're out on the highway and you're cruising and you're not accelerating, it's actually very efficient because you're actually getting a lot more per piston spoke.
Mark: So, there you go. If you're looking for service for your Range Rover or Jaguar with a supercharged engine in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. Check out their website, pawlikautomotive.com, hundreds of videos on there of all makes and models of vehicles and repairs, or our YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair, or thank you for listening to our podcast. Thanks Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks Mark, and thanks for watching.